A bear is making itself at home in Canton by breaking into homes. Homeowners say the same bear has entered their houses several times this week.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is working to capture the bear and her cubs.
“The scariest part was just seeing it face to face and, like, being so close to it and it growling,” said 16-year-old Landon Miner.
A mama bear and her four cubs are well known among neighbors in Canton. But this last week, the encounters have become unnerving.
On Wednesday, when 16-year-old Landon was home alone, she opened the bathroom door after showering and found herself feet away from a bear.
“It was a giant brown blob, and when I got out there I heard it growling. So I was just confused. And then we looked at each other for .2 seconds, and it growled. And then I freaked out and turned around and went back into the bathroom,” Landon said.
Landon called her dad and barricaded the door. After spending more than an hour in the home, the bear left.
“My mom and my neighbor got home, and they ripped open the door, ran back to the car, and started honking. And it just walked out on its own,” Landon said.
That was the second time it came into the home that day. The first time, Ryan Miner’s son was home but slept right through the bear breaking in. Miner said that first time the bear ripped out a screen in the window, crawled inside and wrecked the kitchen.
He said they closed the window but that when it came back the second time, the bear opened the window and went back in.
“The pantry, the drawers were ripped down, and there was just bags of food everywhere. And there were paw prints all over the wall,” Landon said.
Miner said it’s scary knowing his kids were home when the bear broke in and is grateful no one was hurt.
Later that same day, he found himself face-to-face with the animal as it tried to push the window open to get inside a third time.
“I was holding the window, and it was trying to force it up,” Miner said.
DEEP placed a bear trap on the property to try and capture the intrusive animal, and it’s not the only place they’ve put one.
A family nearby has had several of their own encounters with the mama bear. On Saturday, it crashed Melissa Crescentini’s son’s birthday party. She said loud noises and spraying it with a hose made no difference.
From Sunday to Monday, it came into her home three times. She said it tore screens, broke doors, opened windows and left a mess inside. When it came in the third time, Crescentini said she was home, and she had to take shelter in the basement until the bear left.
“Living in the woods, they’re always out and about but never this close,” Miner said. “They’re definitely getting a little too close for comfort.”
Homeowners have locked their windows and doors, but the bear continues to try and get in.
Miner said on Thursday the bear tried to get in through the sliding glass door, but a lock prevented the door from opening wide enough to let the bear in.
While DEEP tries to capture the bear and her cubs, neighbors said they’re remaining on high alert and want others in the neighborhood to know what’s happening.
“Every time I hear something rustling, maybe a bear got in again,” Landon said.
NBC Connecticut reached out to DEEP but has not yet heard back.
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